Young Lesbian Aspires to Help Community

This little item in the Valley Independent caught my eye.

Abigail Begandy doesn't mind marching to the beat of her own drum.

Begandy, 16, a junior at Ringgold High School, recently was sworn in as a junior firefighter for the Monongahela Fire Department.

She was sworn in Oct. 7 and became the department's third female firefighter.

“All my life, my community and family and friends have helped me and I just wanted to do something to give back,” said Begandy.

“Originally, I had planned on going into the army. But my mom didn't want me to do that because she said there is just too much crazy stuff going on in the world,” she said.

“So, I decided to become a firefighter.”

Abigail also happens to be a lesbian.  Who just outed herself to the readers of the local paper in a rural Mon Valley town.  She's working with her principal at Ringgold to start a GSA type organization.

That's a pretty impressive reveal of information.  Volunteer firefighting itself is an interesting choice.  I wish the article had delved a bit deeper into the reality of sending a 16 year old into a blazing building scenario.  Still, even if she's contributing behind the scenes, it is more than I did at 16. 

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I wonder how many other teens read the Valley Independent and feel a bit less isolated?  I wonder how many other adults read it, nod their heads in approval about the firefighting and then stop to consider the lesbian reveal? I wonder how many phone calls the Ringgold principal received? 

Kudos to Abigail for being a real leader.  And good for the VI for writing an interesting story about a girl who happens to be a lesbian, not a lesbian firefighter. 


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